New Zealand UFC star Israel Adesanya admits he ‘crossed the line’ after telling rival Kevin Holland ‘I’ll f***ing rape you’ in now-deleted Instagram taunt after his country’s deputy prime minister waded into the middleweight champion’s latest controversy
Israel Adesanya has admitted he ‘crossed the line’ after sending a grim taunt to middleweight rival Kevin Holland.
The 185-pound champion from New Zealand has received significant backlash after telling his rival in a now-deleted Instagram post: ‘Bro, I will f***ing rape you’.
Grant Robertson, New Zealand’s deputy prime minister, took a dim view of Adesanya’s slur and appeared to call on the UFC to take action against the 31-year-old.
Israel Adesanya has admitted he ‘crossed the line’ after sending a vile taunt to his rival
Adesanya said in a now-deleted video ‘I will f***ing rape you’ to UFC rival Kevin Holland (left)
And Adesanya has taken to Twitter to publish a statement in which he admitted that he ‘crossed the line’ in making the comment, although the 63-word update did not contain an apology to the American.
“Last weekend fight talk escalated to a point in which I crossed the line,’ the statement read.
‘I understand the gravity of this word and how it can affect and hurt other people apart from my opponent, although that was NEVER my intention.
The 31-year-old made a statement on social media that did not contain an apology
‘I am still to growing under the spotlight, and I take this as a lesson to be more selective with words under pressure.’
Adesanya’s comment comes after Robertson, who is also New Zealand’s minister for sport, hit out at the middleweight champion for his ‘flippant comments’.
He said: ‘There is never a time to make flippant comments about rape. It’s just not something anybody should do.
‘I’m sure Israel understands that. I believe he has deleted the tweet in question. It will be up to the UFC as to what they do.
New Zealand deputy prime minister Grant Robertson (L) took a dim view of Adesanya’s tirade
‘But I would certainly be making clear to him, and to anybody actually, that we have to take rape seriously.
‘It’s not an issue that anyone should be making jokes or flippant comments about at all.’
This is not the first time the 31-year-old has landed himself in hot water for disrespectful comments.
Last February he had to issue an apology after saying his then-upcoming opponent Yoel Romero would ‘crumble like the twin towers’ against him and vowed to be ‘more careful with my words in the future’.
He also came under fire recently for pretending to hump Paulo Costa after flooring him in their September fight and saying ‘I’m going to c** all over you’ after he had won the fight.
It is not the first time that the New Zealander has landed himself in hot water for his actions
Adesanya came under fire in September for appearing to ‘hump’ stricken Paulo Costa
Adesanya’s latest vile taunt, aimed at middleweight contender Holland, comes in the wake of his first defeat in the UFC.
He failed in his bid to become a two-weight champion against light-heavyweight king Jan Blachowicz earlier this month.
Despite the setback, the middleweight title holder insists that a future fight with fellow controversial UFC star Jon Jones will still happen.
When asked by ESPN if the fight was dead, he said: ‘Hell no! This is just a valley in my story. In any movie, in any anime series, you always have the valleys and you rise up from that.
‘This is just mine and it’s like, all right, cool, bet. I’m taking this very well, and I know exactly what I have to do to get back to my true self, so yeah, I’m doing just that. But nah, that fight’s not dead. I’m coming for that a***.’
The middleweight champion lost his unbeaten record, losing to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259